advertisement
Question
Posted by: Sam | 2010/11/08

Mom''s depression getting everyone down

Dear Professor
My mother has been struggling with what I think is depression and a low self-esteem for as long as I can remember. My brother and I am both out of the house, but my 22 year old sister is unfortunately still at home. She has informed me that things have been getting progressively worse.
My grandfather was an alcholic (luckily the quiet non-abusive kind) and it looks like my mother is following in his footsteps. It has gotten out of control a few times before where my mom has started verbal fighting when she''s been drinking, but never used to be a regular thing. Mostly it ends with her in tears and telling anyone that will listen at how bad her childhood was. I''ve today been informed that my mom now drinks at times a bottle of red wine by herself (and I know it on occasion to be more) and have at times been acting completely out of norm. She''s also a definite chocaholic and have lately taken to buying herself slabs at a time secretly and buying seperate smaller chocolates to take home. My father has been diagnosed with diabetes and I am worried that this will threaten his life in the process.
I know my mother needs help, but don''t know how to go about it. I know she will refuse to admit she has a problem straight off and will refuse to see anyone. The most likely scenario is for me to force her to see someone next time I go home (only probably April next year!!) and to actually take her there myself. She also hates taking any medication and I know she will stop taking anything prescribed the moment someone stops monitoring. She''s very strong minded and like me very much a fighting spirit. Unfortunately that includes her believing no phsychiatrist or medication can or will help.
I am however desperate to get her help as I can see her lifestyle ruining my father and my sister (who''s currently without a job). What treatment does my mom need and is a phsychiatrist or phsychologist the best step for her? Can you suggest any in the Helderberg/Stellenbosch area that I can communicate with to try and get her some help?
Thank you for any assistance given!

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi Sam,
The situation sounds complex. Some people drink more when they get depressed - and alcohol is a powerful depressant, som it's often a vicious circle. It sounds as though, in a way, she's begun to live her life backwards, or at least looking backwards - ruminating about her miserable childhood, which she cannot change, rather than looking at how to enhance her present and future, and to change her attitudes and assumptions about the significance of that past - all of which she CAN change.
Chocolate can be partly cheering for a miserable person, and shouldn't harm your dad's diabetes so long as he is sensible enough not to eat it.
I understand your concern to ensure she gets proper care, but psych help is often ineffective if a person has to be "forced" to go along with it - they usually stop going, stop taking meds, and sabotage it where they can. So its more important to try to persuade her that she is obviously miserable as she is, and in ways that are surely amenable to properly expert help. And the first need is for a proper assessment of the nature and dimensions of the problem, and what options there are for improving the situation.
Either a psychiatrist ( who can also prescribe meds ) or a psychologist could help. There's a good dept of psychiatry at the University of Stellembosch who should be able to help

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/11/08

Hi Sam,
The situation sounds complex. Some people drink more when they get depressed - and alcohol is a powerful depressant, som it's often a vicious circle. It sounds as though, in a way, she's begun to live her life backwards, or at least looking backwards - ruminating about her miserable childhood, which she cannot change, rather than looking at how to enhance her present and future, and to change her attitudes and assumptions about the significance of that past - all of which she CAN change.
Chocolate can be partly cheering for a miserable person, and shouldn't harm your dad's diabetes so long as he is sensible enough not to eat it.
I understand your concern to ensure she gets proper care, but psych help is often ineffective if a person has to be "forced" to go along with it - they usually stop going, stop taking meds, and sabotage it where they can. So its more important to try to persuade her that she is obviously miserable as she is, and in ways that are surely amenable to properly expert help. And the first need is for a proper assessment of the nature and dimensions of the problem, and what options there are for improving the situation.
Either a psychiatrist ( who can also prescribe meds ) or a psychologist could help. There's a good dept of psychiatry at the University of Stellembosch who should be able to help

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement